Pam Bondi Doesn't Retreat From Defending Traditional Marriage Law

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi made her case about why she is defending the state constitutional amendment which mandates only traditional marriage is recognized in the Sunshine State.

Bondi released a statement on Monday night about her role in defending the law in the current challenge from same-sex couples wishing to be married in Florida.

In the statement, Bondi said:

“In 2008, Florida voters amended their state Constitution to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman. In response to a recent challenge to this provision, and in keeping with my sworn duty to uphold the laws of the land, my office recently filed a legal brief defending the voters' decision.

“The fundamental argument of our brief is that the voters had the right to adopt this definition of marriage, just as they have the right in the future to change their minds and afford legal recognition to same-sex marriage, should they so choose.

“Defending the wishes of the voters who enacted Florida's marriage amendment necessarily requires me to make good-faith legal arguments. In presenting those arguments, my office understands and respects that there are many who profoundly disagree with the voters' decision. But anything less than the best defense of our voters' policy preferences would disenfranchise the electorate, undermine the judicial process, and cast aside the professional responsibility that guides me every day as attorney general. The subject of same-sex marriage is understandably a matter of intense personal concern and sensitivity for Floridians on all sides of the debate. While defending this constitutional amendment, we have remained respectful and showed consideration for those with differing viewpoints -- acknowledging in the introduction that this issue is one with ‘good people on all sides.’

“Therefore, I take exception to those who have sought to manipulate our brief, trying to make it something it is not. The brief does not argue for or against same-sex marriage as a matter of policy, wisdom, or fairness. Those decisions are for the voters of each state, not for lawyers or courts. It is my duty to protect Florida from the ‘harm’ of a federal injunction overriding the will of Florida voters.

“Some states recognize same-sex marriage, and some states do not. As the brief explains on pages two and three:

‘This case is not about which policy choice is better or worse. And this case is not about whether the debate should continue (which it surely will). This case is about whether states can make their own determinations.

‘If the ongoing debate leads Florida’s citizens to change their policy -- as several states recently have -- they may do so. In the meantime, this court should ‘exercise great caution when asked to take sides in an ongoing public policy debate,” Lofton v. Sec’y, Fla. Dep’t of Children & Family Servs., 358 F.3d 804, 827 (11th Cir. 2004), and leave Florida’s important policy determinations to Florida’s citizens.’

“We are defending this amendment based solely upon judicial precedent and not the personal views of anyone in our office. Anything else would be bad lawyering -- just as in all cases, the personal opinions of the advocates and the judges involved are utterly irrelevant.

“Our brief makes the case in defense of Florida's marriage amendment with great respect for the plaintiffs and those whom they represent. Any suggestions to the contrary are not only wrong, but hurtful, designed to inflame, and insulting to everyone involved. When I defend the voters' decisions with professionalism and civility, I'm simply doing my job because my job is not to write the law, but to defend it.”
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Comments (8)

Miguel Patricio
9:15AM JUN 5TH 2014
Pam Bondi initially wrote: "… disrupting Florida's existing marriage laws would impose significant public harm."

Which sure sounds like: Changing the law to allow gay marriage would hurt Florida.

Bondi went on to say, "Florida's marriage laws … have a close, direct and rational relationship to society's legitimate interest in increasing the likelihood that children will be born to and raised by the mothers and fathers who produced them in stable and enduring family units."

Has she bothered to look at the failure of the institution of marriage in our contemporary society?

The overwhelming evidence is more children are being brought up in single parent homes (mostly by women) than in homes with both parents.

She is defending an archaic institution that has failed miserably, insinuating that same sex marriage would somehow make things worse, and is supporting discrimination in Florida.

Most Attorney Generals, both democratic and republican, have refused to defend these marriage discriminatory laws, while Bondi continues to cater to the extremists who spend their life listening to the "Spin Network" 24/7.

Somehow citizens need to send these dinosaurs back in time where they belong.
William K. Wells
9:03AM JUN 5TH 2014
Will someone kindly tell my why gays need to be married? A faux marriage will not open the gates of Heaven and it will not make them good parents. So what's the purpose? Such marriage certificate is not worth the paper on which it is written.
Rose Mary Woods
8:44PM JUN 4TH 2014
How is Bondi's personal life germane to this discussion? She is upholding the Florida ban on same-sex marriage. A majority of voters approved this ban in 2008 and added it to the Florida Constitution. She is doing her job by defending the ban. If you want SSM in Florida, get the votes.
Spike Bickel
10:14AM JUN 4TH 2014
Her arguments are founded not in legal wisdom nor in constitutional civil rights, but in animus toward a specific class of Floridians and Americans. It surely will not prevail just as many other states' attempts to marginalize same-sex relationships.
9:54AM JUN 4TH 2014
At least she's NOT backing down - unlike our "Representatives" who DO NOT represent us and fold like the cowards they are ...
Above Any Law
10:52AM JUN 3RD 2014
"voters had the right to adopt this definition of marriage, just as they have the right in the future to change their minds"

she says after two "marriages" and two divorces and now in a third "quasi-ceremonial" union of some type. No kids yet.

Will voters approve a definition of what the Attorney General represents?

By all means, ask the voters if you want to marry someone, anyone. The AG shows your decision and the other person's decision about marriage mean nothing. Ask voters.
9:34AM JUN 3RD 2014
She doesn't have a choice - it is the Florida Constitution she is defending.
Above Any Law
10:53AM JUN 3RD 2014
She doesn't have a brain.

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